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Meet our 2023 Awayday speakers ...

Please note that speaker photos are not available in mobile device view, only in desktop view.

We are delighted to announce that Weblink Software is the main sponsor of the 2023 Awayday. Weblink Software specializes in transforming print-based ELT and educational content into high-quality digital material for delivery in online platforms. 


Presentations, Workshops and Sessions:


'AI and Accessibility – key challenges and opportunities in digital content creation

By the team from Avallain:
Ian Johnstone (Business Development Advisor)

Max Bondi (Head of Product Management)

Nadine Hartley (Head of Product Documentation and Training)

Over the past two decades, digital education has seen many shocks and disruptions, from the demise of CD-ROMs and Flash to the emergence of learning management systems and mobile learning. But even against that backdrop, this seems to be a time of exceptional change, challenge and opportunity. Not only are publishers having to achieve compliance under the European Accessibility Act by June 2025 for both forward and backlist publishing, but the much-hyped field of Artificial Intelligence finally seems to be reaching a level of maturity – and with astonishing results. Avallain has been a driving force in digital ELT for more than 20 years and is responsible for many white-labelled learning platforms and the industry-leading interactive content creation tool, Avallain Author. So what is Avallain’s take on these two key developments? How might they affect our industry, our working practices and our products? Will we need to acquire new skills and develop new approaches, and if so, how should we go about it? Representatives from Avallain’s product, editorial and strategy teams will be here to explore all of these topics and to answer your questions in what we are sure will be a fascinating opener to this Awayday.

Ian Johnstone

Ian Johnstone has worked in educational publishing and ELT for more than 25 years, with a particular focus on digital innovation. He has advised numerous publishers on digital publishing strategy and is now working with Avallain in his role as Business Development Advisor to develop new products and approaches, including the Avallain Author Training and Certification Programme and Avallain Magnet.

Max Bondi
Max Bondi is Avallain’s Head of Product Management. For more than ten years Max has worked extensively with ELT and educational publishers such as OUP, CUP, Pearson, Cengage and Santillana to deliver some of the industry's most innovative digital solutions, used by millions of learners. Now, he is focused on bringing these innovations to a wider market with Magnet: Avallain’s all-in-one content creation and LMS solution. He is based in London, UK.

Nadine Hartley

Nadine studied English/American Literature and Linguistics at the Humboldt University in Berlin before moving to the UK, where she began her career in publishing. For several years she has been Head of Product Documentation, Editorial Services and Training at Avallain AG. Together with her team she supports Avallain’s clients in their content production processes and offers regular trainings and webinars to Author users.

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'2022 Survey of Freelance ELT Editorial Rates & Fees and 2023 Survey of Freelance ELT Author Rates & Fees: summary of findings and key points arising'

Karen Spiller and Sue Kay, Directors of ELTpp


This session will summarise the findings of two separate surveys: the 2022 Survey of Freelance ELT Editorial Rates and Fees (which is the fourth iteration of the survey over a period of nine years) and the 2023 Survey of Freelance ELT Author Rates and Fees (first release of the survey). This session will examine the survey findings and explore emerging trends in remuneration methods, negotiation and other related considerations. 

Sue Kay has been teaching, training and writing ELT materials for over 35 years and is a director of ELT Publishing Professionals and ELT Teacher 2 Writer. Her first publication was the Reward Resource Packs published by Heinemann. Since then, with co-author Vaughan Jones, she has written Inside Out and New Inside Out for Macmillan and Upper Secondary course Focus for Pearson. 

Karen Spiller runs a publishing services company and is a director of ELT Publishing Professionals and ELT Teacher 2 Writer, which is an organisation that publishes books that train teachers to improve their materials writing skills. During her career she has worked in house for Oxford University Press, Macmillan Education and Hachette Livre. In recent years, she's worked closely with National Geographic Learning, commissioning and developing LifeOutcomes 2/eKeynote and Look.



'Post-lunch Dynamic Networking'

Helen HolwillELT project manager, Editor, Author & Director of ELTpp

Feedback on the Awayday consistently shows that one of the most important reasons for attending is to catch up with friends and colleagues, make new connections, and secure new offers of work. However, we can sometimes feel a little awkward or ineffective when it comes to 'networking'. Following on from Helen's 'Ninja networking techniques' session at last year's Awayday, which was packed with practical tips and techniques, this dynamic and varied session is designed to combat the post-lunch slump. Expect to move around a little, meet new people who could be useful business contacts, and laugh, all within a supportive environment where the spotlight won't be shone directly on you. 


Helen Holwill has worked in ELT publishing for over 25 years, and has previously worked in house for Macmillan Education, Oxford University Press and Learndirect English. She works as a project manager and editor and is one of the three directors of ELT Publishing Professionals. Having once been shy, Helen is passionate about supporting and encouraging people to step out of their comfort zones and reap the benefits.

'Examining Nuance in DEI: A workshop for reviewing materials

Dr Amina Douidi, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Intercultural Communication Consultant


There are most certainly some 'dos and don'ts' when it comes to representing historically mariginalised peoples in published materials. We will cover these before exploring some instances of misrepresentation. By examining samples from published work, this interactive workshop will be a valuable opportunity to reflect on how diversity representation can be done well, i.e. by preserving the dignity of all peoples.


This workshop has been designed to ensure that we will all feel safe discussing potentially uncomfortable topics and are able to find creative ways to remedy any DEI issue that may emerge.

Dr Amina Douidi is a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Intercultural Communication consultant. She holds a PhD in Modern Languages and Applied Linguistics from the University of Southampton, UK, where she investigated interculturality in Algerian English textbooks and language classrooms. She is a DEI reviewer for publishers and pre-sessional EAP tutor in UK Higher Education. She also acts as Co-Chair Elect of TESOL ICIS championing contributions from teachers and researchers from the Global Majority.

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5-minute buzzword talks

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These talks are kindly sponsored by National Geographic Learning. Industry experts will present, clarify and briefly explore a current word, topic or concept with which delegates may not be fully conversant. Note that some speakers may present more than one 'buzzword' within their 5-minute slot. 

Rachael Gibbon is Global Publisher at National Geographic Learning, overseeing the creation of English language learning programmes for learners at every stage of their educational journey. She has worked in educational publishing for almost twenty years, following several years in the classroom as a language instructor in Italy and the UK. She holds a BA in English and Italian from the University of Wales and a Masters in Education and Social Justice from Lancaster University. She believes learning a new language is an act of hope and strives to ensure the learning experience is an empowering one for teachers and learners.

Lottie Galpin is a Diversity and Inclusion consultant, trainer, editor and writer .She taught for twelve years before working in-house at Oxford University Press and then launching her freelance editing and writing career. She provides a range of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) services to help publishers navigate the world of inclusive materials. In 2020, she set up the Reflecting Reality Facebook group to help teachers and freelance publishing professionals learn more about inclusive materials. She is also an Events Co-ordinator for the IATEFL Inclusive Practices and Special Educational Needs SIG. 

Derek Philip-Xu is originally from Aberdeen but in 2003 he decided to take a year out and teach English in Japan, where he stayed for five years before moving on to Spain and then China. Twenty years later, he is still involved in ELT. An opportunity in China saw him move into publishing, dealing with both print and digital content. On his return to the UK in 2016, he worked with one of the large publishers, but a couple of years ago decided to go freelance and set up his own company, Refreshing Publishing, specialising in publishing project management and digital content development.

Paul Dummett is a teacher and writer based in Oxford, where he ran his own language school for ten years. He now writes coursebooks and methodology books with National Geographic Learning and is a remote teacher with The Hands Up Project. His main interests are critical and creative thinking and how we can use images and stories to make learning more memorable.  


Claire Smith is a writer and editor specialising in the creation of content for young and very young learners of English. After gaining a Masters in Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, she worked for a number of print and digital publishers before becoming freelance in 2016. She has worked on phonics materials for young learners in the MENA region, North America, South America and Spain, and has written several decodable stories for publication in the UK, too. Claire volunteers at a local school in Nottingham helping children with their reading, where she has discovered that if she turns up early, she gets to sit in on phonics lessons! 

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Our panellists will be:


These panel session at the end of the day is kindly sponsored by Oxford University Press


Ian Johnstone
Business Development Advisor, Avallain


Paulo Dantas

CEO and Managing Partner, Troika, Brazil

Blanca Gonzalez
Director (ELT Product Management Strategy & Planning), Oxford University Press


James Voûte

Business Development Director, Haremi

Gary Swift

Owner, Lemonade Illustration Agency


Also present:

Offering free professional head-shot photos

Creative Listening, a London-based specialist ELT media production house, will be on hand again to offer free headshots taken by a professional photographer. No more scrabbling around for a decent photo for your work profiles! On the day you'll need to book in your slot quickly as this service was very popular last year. Gemma and Luke will also be available all day on their exhibition stand to give advice on all things video, animation, song and audio related.


Phil Hendy

Director of PAH Accounting


Phil Hendy is offering his popular one-to-one, pre-bookable, 15-minute sessions throughout the day. Phil is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants and has many years of experience working for several well-known firms in various sectors. He has a particular interest in supporting small businesses and sole traders and has presented and offered one-to-one advice sessions at all previous ELTpp Freelancers' Awaydays. Delegates will be invited to book their slot once ticket sales have closed.

Caroline Krantz

ELT Author & Quiz host


Caroline has very kindly agreed to prepare and host the quiz which will follow the pre-conference dinner. Caroline lives in Oxford where she works as a freelance ELT author. She taught English in Spain and the UK, before making the move from teacher to writer in 2005. She’s written Student’s Books (Move On, Reach Up, and two levels of Navigate for OUP), Workbooks (Target FCE, Richmond), Teacher’s books (Solutions, OUP) and Teacher’s Resource Books (Headway Elementary, Pre-Intermediate and Intermediate). She has also written listening tests for Cambridge ESOL. In addition, Caroline is the author of the ELT Teacher 2 Writer book How To Write Reading And Listening Activities.

Exhibition stands and organisation representatives

These organisations will have exhibition stands:


Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading

Creative Listening (ELT media production)

Earn Learn Thrive (ELT Business & Mindset Coach)

ELI Publishing Group

Lemonade Illustration Agency

Lottie Galpin (DEI Specialist)

National Geographic Learning

Oxford University Press

Rascom I.T. (I.T. sales and support)


York Press

The following have one or more representatives attending the day – they are keen to meet you, so do seek them out and introduce yourself:

Digital Learning Associates (video production)

ELT Teacher 2 Writer (developing ELT writing skills)

EMC Design (design agency; publishing services)

Garnet Education

Haremi (publishing services)

Hyphen SA (publishing services)

Just Content (publishing services)

Ladybird Education; Penguin Random House

Macmillan Education

Newgen Publishing UK (publishing services)

PAH Accounting

The Content Station (publishing services)

Tom, Dick and Debbie Productions

Troika (publishing services)

Weblink Software (publishing services)

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